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sense of the holy majesty of God, he would despond, yea, at length absolutely despair, were he not supported by discoveries of the rich mercy of God, and the precious salvation of the gospel." Yet thus encouraged, he indeed ventures to speak unto the Lord, but it is in the publican's selfabased frame of spirit, and humble words, "God "be merciful to me a sinner.

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This deep humiliation of soul renders a man backward to conclude his repentance genuine, his faith sincere, and his sins forgiven. These blessings appear in his eyes so large, his own character so vile, and his humiliation so small, in comparison with what he is conscious it ought to be, that he can hardly raise his hopes so high: and he is so aware of the wickedness of his heart, and discovers so much of Satan's artifice, that he fears being imposed on by a false peace, where eternity is at stake. But when this hope springs up in his heart, and he discovers, by comparing it with the Scripture, with fervent prayer, that "it is the hope that maketh not ashamed, because the love of "God is shed abroad in his heart by the holy "Ghost given unto him;" this is so far from drying up his tears, and terminating his repentance, that it vastly enlarges and purifies his godly sorrow; which is now attended with a sweetness far exceeding all earthly joy. The fuller assurance he possesses that Jesus

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was wounded for his "transgressions, and was bruised for his iniqui

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"ties," the more he abhors his sins and loathes himself. Here he sees, with personal application, what wrath sin merited! What punishment he was worthy of! When a God of such immense compassion would not pardon one sin, without such a satisfaction: yea, would rather not spare his own Son, but be pleased to bruise him in whom his soul delighted, than either leave sin unpunished, or sinful men to perish!

His own concern in this transaction directs his attention peculiarly to it. "The Father loved "him, and gave his beloved Son to die for him: "Christ loved him, and gave himself for him, and "interceded for him:" and thus he was spared and born with, all the years of his rebellion, whilst many others were cut off in their sins. At length God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, "wherewith he loved him, even when dead in

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sins, quickened him" by his Spirit: thus born of God, he was pardoned, justified, and adopted into God's family, and numbered amongst the heirs of eternal glory; to which he is sealed by the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit: as these are the earnest of the promised inheritance. Such discoveries and prospects elevate the soul to a degree of adoring love and gratitude, before unknown; and this increases the penitent's self-abasement and godly sorrow. His heart is even broken, and as it were melted, when he considers the number and odiousness of the crimes

His

committed against this glorious and gracious God, who was all the while full of love to him character is stamped, "a mourner that shall be "comforted:" yet is his a sweet sorrow: whilst with tears of contrition and gratitude, he praises a pardoning God and a bleeding Saviour, he realizes the paradox, "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing:" except that in some dark seasons his heart is insensible, both to the motions of godly sorrow, and of holy joy. These alternate variations in the frame of his spirit the true Christian experiences through the remainder of his life. His more melting seasons of godly sorrow are blended with, and prepare the way for, his sweetest consolations; which again increase and purify his mourning for sin; as he then most clearly perceives what a gracious and glorious God he hath offended, and how vile he hath been. Thus ingenuous sorrow and holy joy reciprocally assist one another; they intermingle with, and are proportioned to, each other in his daily experience; till at length death closes the varied scene. Then God wipes away all tears from his eyes; the days of his mourning are ended, he shall eternally be comforted, and plenteously reap that harvest which here he sowed in tears. I do not mean to determine any thing concerning the degree in which true penitents obtain these spiritual discoveries, or experience these flowing affections and melting frames. Tis enough if we can describe the distinguishing nature of

grace

is of the same nature

true repentance. True and tendency, whether we have much or little

of it.

If then the genuine sorrow for sin required in Scripture has been described, it is no objection to say, that many true Christians have very little of these views and affections; because that is only to say, in other words, that they have but little true repentance; or (which amounts to the same thing,) have but little true grace. And the less they have of these things, the less evident is their conversion; the more need have "they to examine "themselves, whether they be in the faith;" and to "give diligence to make their calling and elec"tion sure," Certainly we must not adulterate the word of God, that we may accommodate it to the experience of lukewarm professors in a day when "iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold." This would be the way to reduce things from bad to worse, till true religion vanish from among us. We must still keep to the standard of God's word, the experience of scriptural saints, and the specimen of primitive Christians, endeavouring to stir up men's minds to imitate these illustrious examples. And on careful examination, I trust, the above description of godly sorrow will be found scriptural: all real Christians have experienced something of it, and habitually do experience it: and the more distinct their views, the more enlarged their affections, and the deeper

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their contrition; the more evidently they are true penitents, and entitled to all the consolations belonging to that character.

Nor is the order; in which these things are expe rienced, at all material, provided the godly sorrow be of the proper nature and tendency: yet I would just observe, that at all times it is begun before assured hope of salvation; otherwise pardon and the assurance of it would be vouchsafed to impeni tent sinners; but it is much enlarged by this: assurance, wherever it is scripturally possessed;; as the believer now "looks upon him whom he hath "pierced, and mourns." It begins previously tu the sense of pardoning love, and is perfected by it; because the believer's love to the Lord is thus increased, and this increases sorrow for having offended him. Let this be well digested, and then let us proceed to observe that,

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II. Repentance is attended with a real inclina, 'tion to undo, if it were possible, all that we have 'sinfully done; and consequently with an endea

vour, as far as we have it in our power, to coun'teract the consequences of our former evil con'duct.'-This frame of spirit will manifest itself,

1. By ingenuous confession of our sins to the glory of that God, whom by sin we have dishonoured. Thus Joshua exhorts Achan; "My son, give glory to the LORD, and make confession

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